No one wanted to admit that Jasper dating Lucy while she was in high school was a fucking problem.
“I don’t see what the big fucking deal is,” Lucy insisted to me. “I mean, age is just a number, right?”
“Tell me that you’re not having sex with him,” I challenged her, already knowing the answer because of who I am as a (psychic) person.
“You know I can’t tell you that,” she said. “Besides, why don’t you tell me you’re not sleeping with Trevor?”
Because I had only slept with Trevor once, but I didn’t want to talk about that.
“Look, I know this is weird for you—“
“This is weird, period,” I cut her off.
Mom wasn’t any more supportive of my heebies. “She’s a sweet girl and I think she’s good for him.”
“She’s barely sixteen. She started dating him before she turned sixteen.”
“She’s very mature for her age, Kassandra.”
“Oh my God, Mother, no, she’s not!”
“Will you stop being so dramatic?”
“Mom, he could go to jail for statutory.”
“Only if someone presses charges. And her parents won’t.”
Which was true. He had their blessing, too.
“Do you think I’m being overdramatic?” I asked Trevor.
“Almost always,” he said.
But the problem wasn’t just the legal thing. We had two kids in the house under the age of five. Even before Lucy and Jasper actually got going, we had Lucy over a couple of times to babysit. I don’t want to say it was a disaster, but… It’s not that Lucy doesn’t like kids. It’s not. She just doesn’t really…
I don’t know. Maybe I’m still overreacting. Why should it bother me, right? My best friend—for lack of a better candidate—sleeping with my brother. And not just sleeping with him, either. Dating him. Insinuating herself, fashioning herself into Ellie’s sixteen-year-old stepmom. OK, seventeen, fine. Whatever.
What in the hell does she think that she’s doing? Is this really the life that she wants for herself?
But is it really Ellie that I’m concerned about, either? It’s not that Ellie doesn’t get good role models. Well, OK, “good” is a matter of, like, yeah, but I mean… She has lots of them. Am I concerned for Lucy? For Jasper? For her?
Or is it just that I can’t imagine ever really being happy with that kind of life for myself?
Isn’t this what ordinary people want? Isn’t this how people live their lives? We live, we grow, we fall in love at the wrong time. We stay, we love, we grow together. We work. We’re parents too young. Is there anything wrong with that? It’s really just a matter of logistics. Isn’t it? Normal people don’t travel all the way across the country to go to college, to pioneer, to find themselves and lose their homes, to invent or to break new ground. That’s not what normal people do. If it was…
I know what my path is. Not the specifics. But I know… I know what I want, I guess. My destiny, even if it isn’t my fate. I know where I’m going. Maybe realizing that could help me get away from the feeling that what Lucy wants for herself is wrong.
Even if it does remain… well… creepy.